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Topic: Expatriate without a U.S. residential address, and my bank now requires one  (Read 505 times)

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Hi everyone,

Just thought I'd ask here in case anyone's dealt with this.

Since I moved to the UK, I've maintained a US bank account as well as my UK one here, showing the same UK based address. No issues.

Today the US bank decided to write me a letter saying all account holders must now provide a US residential address, or face their account being closed within 60 days.

I have family in the US but don't think it's good practice to use their address as I don't actually live there, for a number of reasons.

My first thought was to call the bank and see if they make any exceptions, but I'm expecting they'll say it's a blanket rule for everyone no matter what.

Has anyone else dealt with this? Do you have any interesting stories to tell?

Best wishes to all.


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You could try a virtual mailer like us global mail: hsbc accepts that but i know other banks don’t. For the ones that don’t i use a relative as the street address and my virtual mailbox or london as the correspondence address.


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You could try a virtual mailer like us global mail: hsbc accepts that but i know other banks don’t. For the ones that don’t i use a relative as the street address and my virtual mailbox or london as the correspondence address.


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+1

I wouldn’t hesitate in using a US relative’s address as a correspondence address if the bank insisted on it.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Thanks for your thoughts guys, I appreciate it.

I thought long and hard about this and spoke to my family who themselves had stories to tell about this particular bank. I won't name and shame but they had noticed the service declining and their local branches being cut every year, etc. They themselves were thinking of switching banks.

With their comments in mind also I decided to close it down, my folks are arranging the return of my money to my UK bank. The US bank refused to send a check abroad so I had to transfer it out. I hadn't used it much (the pandemic confounded my travel plans these last couple of years), and I had looked into what payment methods the IRS accepts before making this decision, just in case. I am lucky I no longer have a student loan payment coming out of there.

The good news is, my parents now know how to do international wires to me, if they ever needed to - I've occasionally done the reverse and it's not too bad.

Best wishes all.



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The good news is, my parents now know how to do international wires to me, if they ever needed to - I've occasionally done the reverse and it's not too bad.


 Wise, formerly Transferwise is what almost all of us here have found to be best for international money transfers.


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Perhaps this is something that's becoming more universal or standardized for US banks?

I'm in the US at the moment, and went to my bank to get a replacement debit card since mine expired in 2021.  For 10+ years, I've not had any issue maintaining my US bank account and having statements mailed to my UK address.  I switched to paperless a few years ago, and continued to not encounter any issues with digital statements listing my UK address.

When I was at the bank, I was informed of the same thing - I was now required to have a residential US address.  Luckily, I have family members who are happy for me to use their address, and they are happy to receive my US bank mail and forward to me in the UK if required.  I suspect though that if I didn't have US family members (or friends) willing to do this, I would have been asked to just close the account. 


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The address requirement came in with the Patriot act post 9/11. The legal requirement for banks is merely that they know the residence address in addition to the mailing address; the law says nothing about it having to be a US address - I suspect that it is the banks‘ own compliance departments that are insisting on a US address… or perhaps the IT departments, which neglected to add a foreign country field to that section of the database!


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The address requirement came in with the Patriot act post 9/11. The legal requirement for banks is merely that they know the residence address in addition to the mailing address; the law says nothing about it having to be a US address - I suspect that it is the banks‘ own compliance departments that are insisting on a US address… or perhaps the IT departments, which neglected to add a foreign country field to that section of the database!


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You know I did think it was because of the Patriot Act and I actually looked it up to see whether it did say customers needed to have a U.S. address, and it didn't, it just said enhanced security measures. I can't claim to have insider knowledge but I have worked in several financial jobs in the course of my career and it's the sort of thing that the compliance departments would lead on. I find it sad that "computer says no" still has this kind of effect in this day and age but that's a topic for another day.

I do keep hearing good things about Transferwise and they're absolutely getting more of a look-in from me!


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You know I did think it was because of the Patriot Act and I actually looked it up to see whether it did say customers needed to have a U.S. address, and it didn't, it just said enhanced security measures. I can't claim to have insider knowledge but I have worked in several financial jobs in the course of my career and it's the sort of thing that the compliance departments would lead on. I find it sad that "computer says no" still has this kind of effect in this day and age but that's a topic for another day.

I do keep hearing good things about Transferwise and they're absolutely getting more of a look-in from me!

I agree with you.  Our US bank only has our UK address as does Vanguard where we have our retirement accounts.  I made my first withdrawal from my Roth IRA account this year which required a 10% tax withholding even though it is a tax free account. I checked and it is the law that customers who reside overseas must have tax withholdings when taking distributions from any type of retirement account.  Weird since we also have a regular account with Vanguard where we take dividends and sell fund shares with capital gains but no withholdings are required.

I will definitely look into a Transferwise Borderless account if our bank requires a US address because along with Vanguard we also need a US bank to link with my US private pensions.  While Transferwise is not Federally insured it will only be used to receive funds that will soon be moved to the UK.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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  While Transferwise is not Federally insured ...

That's the pity!


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Re: Expatriate without a U.S. residential address, and my bank now requires one
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2022, 05:07:54 PM »
I'd love to know the name of the bank!
I keep a U.S. residence address in addition to a U.K.mailing address. Strangely it lists it as a primary mailing address (U.S.) and optional mailing address (U.K.) in the app. I did get my replacement debit card ok, but the formatting of my address is appalling. Something like this layout:

1 High Street
England postcode
City
United Kingdom England

The only account that will allow U.S.C's with an overseas address (that I know of) is  https://www.sdfcu.org/ You have to join  American Citizens Abroad or the American Consumer Council and take up a mandatory savings account with them on application. I have been searching for U.S. banks that will allow those with an overseas address to open an account, but it's proving difficult. Compiling a list, as has been done for accountancy firms in the US/UK tax forum section would help those facing closure.

Wise is an ideal option, but it isn't FDIC insured as discussed.


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Re: Expatriate without a U.S. residential address, and my bank now requires one
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2022, 05:50:30 PM »
I'd love to know the name of the bank!
I keep a U.S. residence address in addition to a U.K.mailing address. Strangely it lists it as a primary mailing address (U.S.) and optional mailing address (U.K.) in the app. I did get my replacement debit card ok, but the formatting of my address is appalling. Something like this layout:

1 High Street
England postcode
City
United Kingdom England

The only account that will allow U.S.C's with an overseas address (that I know of) is  https://www.sdfcu.org/ You have to join  American Citizens Abroad or the American Consumer Council and take up a mandatory savings account with them on application. I have been searching for U.S. banks that will allow those with an overseas address to open an account, but it's proving difficult. Compiling a list, as has been done for accountancy firms in the US/UK tax forum section would help those facing closure.

Wise is an ideal option, but it isn't FDIC insured as discussed.

Our bank is HSBC US but it is closing branches left right and center and I expect to be moved to another bank which does require a US address. I think someone here has already been switched and has the US address problem. If so we will use our daughter’s address.

ETA

It was another expat site where a member reported this.

“We returned to the UK a few years ago and in order to ease the transition my wife opened US HSBC Advance account with a UK address and also has a UK HSBC account. That worked OK (although HSBC could actually be a pain in the proverbial at times). It was very useful to have a US account to pay and accept US money - tax, birthday present purchases, transfer money to family, etc.

Then at the end of last year HSBC informed us that they would no longer be in personal banking in the USA and they were selling our account to Citizen (CITI Bank) online account! That has now taken place and would probably also be OK except, now they have our account, Citizen say they require a US phone number in order to verify any transactions and if we don't provide them with one they require us to close the account by early February!”
« Last Edit: February 13, 2022, 05:59:18 PM by durhamlad »
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Expatriate without a U.S. residential address, and my bank now requires one
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2022, 08:23:29 PM »
If you use the US address of a relative or friend, is there a risk that you will get caught up in taxation by the  jurisdiction - i.e. could the bank report your earned interest or other transactions for state and even city income tax? 


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Re: Expatriate without a U.S. residential address, and my bank now requires one
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2022, 10:31:08 PM »
If you use the US address of a relative or friend, is there a risk that you will get caught up in taxation by the  jurisdiction - i.e. could the bank report your earned interest or other transactions for state and even city income tax?

Most certainly. If you get a 1099 from them they will almost certainly send a copy to the State where you have your address.

We used our daughter’s address in California for our correspondence address on our Vanguard accounts, with them also having our street address. California IRS came after us for taxes and I had forms to fill in, and documents to send to prove that we were not resident in California, Vanguard was not a California company and our other US income was from  non California sources who had our UK address as our home address.

When our son moved here he gave his Texas employer his sister’s address in California as a forwarding address and when she received his W2 a few months later she photographed it for him to complete his Federal tax return. 2 years later California came after him for taxes and he also had to send proof that he was not a California resident and that his employer was not a California company.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Expatriate without a U.S. residential address, and my bank now requires one
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2022, 07:52:34 AM »
I'd love to know the name of the bank!
I keep a U.S. residence address in addition to a U.K.mailing address. Strangely it lists it as a primary mailing address (U.S.) and optional mailing address (U.K.) in the app. I did get my replacement debit card ok, but the formatting of my address is appalling. Something like this layout:

1 High Street
England postcode
City
United Kingdom England

The only account that will allow U.S.C's with an overseas address (that I know of) is  https://www.sdfcu.org/ [nofollow] You have to join  American Citizens Abroad or the American Consumer Council and take up a mandatory savings account with them on application. I have been searching for U.S. banks that will allow those with an overseas address to open an account, but it's proving difficult. Compiling a list, as has been done for accountancy firms in the US/UK tax forum section would help those facing closure.

Wise is an ideal option, but it isn't FDIC insured as discussed.

I had an appalling address formatting on the letter they sent me, too!!

Mine was:
City, County
Postcode
1st line of address
2nd line of address
Country

I was appalled to receive something that poorly formatted. Especially an important letter asking me to take action to close my account! FYI, the bank was Wells Fargo.

I am interested to learn about the Federal Credit Union. I think it'd be a great idea to have a list of resources one could use with only their overseas address, but I imagine it wouldn't be easy to find out upfront what all the strings are.


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